Save Big With Amazon's Mobile App

Learn how to get Lightning Deals

Buying online
••• Getty Images/Georgijevic

To maximize your Amazon.com savings, consider downloading the company’s mobile app, which is free for Android and Apple devices. In addition to being compatible with Alexa and tracking shipping on items you've purchased, the app can help you optimize your savings with three key features.

Notifications for Lightning Deals

Many seasoned online shoppers are familiar with Amazon’s annual Black Friday deal offers which change throughout the day and sell out quickly.

You have to pay careful attention to each deal, which usually is available for just a few hours before it expires, and if you miss the timeframe, you’re out of luck. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Amazon offers similar sales every day. They are known as gold box "lightning deals."

A quick review of available deals shows that savings typically are in the range 20-25 percent of typical list prices, but some items are offered at even greater discounts.

Deals typically are updated every few hours and tracking those changes online is not practical. By using the app, though, you can create a notification that alerts you every time a new deal is posted. If you aren’t interested in getting notified about every deal but still want the option of reviewing them at your convenience, just open the app, click “more” on the bottom right, and then click “today’s deals.” It will bring up a screen that shows you the daily deal and the hourly deals.

Price Checks

You may already do this with your Red Laser App or one of the other apps that allow you to scan a product’s UPC code to find the best deals online and locally, but the Amazon app has this feature built-in as well.

If you’re browsing for a product in a store and wondering whether Amazon has a better deal on it, you can either take a photograph of that item or scan the UPC symbol, and the app will automatically tell you the price of the same item on Amazon.

To access this feature on the Amazon app, just tap the word “search” at the bottom of your screen, and the app will take you to the screen that allows you to either photograph or scan the item you want to price check.

Subscribe and Save

If you open the Amazon app and go to the “more” option at the bottom right of your screen, one of the options is “subscribe and save.” Once you tap that, it will show you some subscribe and save recommendations. If you join the program, you’ll benefit from significant savings on certain Amazon products you might want to order on a regular basis. Click on the product you want to order, then determine how often you want that item delivered to you—typically monthly or every few months.

You’ll save 5 percent off of that item’s standard price if you subscribe to fewer than five products. If you have five or more products delivered in the same month on the subscription plan, you’ll save 15 percent off of your entire bill.